Scandinavian traditions to try out this Christmas

How to make the most out of Christmas? Let yourself inspire be these Scandinavian traditions!

Visit a Christmas Market
It’s a tradition to visit a Scandinavian Christmas Market. These are usually outdoors, selling Christmas decorations, cookies and sweets as well as hand made gifts. There are no less than four Scandinavian Christmas Markets in London, usually taking place the last weekend in November. We have all the details here.

Christmas Lights in the window
Scandinavian will have an electric candlestick, with either 5 or 7 candles in the windowsill. Then a large, preferable paper star will be hung. These are to give light into the darkness outside.

Host a glögg party
Throughout December Scandinavians will be inviting each other to informal gatherings where glögg is served, often together with gingerbread men. Glögg is the Scandinavian version of the mulled wine, made with red wine, occassinaly a dash of brandy and sprinkled with spices such as cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. It can also be bought pre-made, called ‘Tomte-glögg’ that translates into ‘Santa’s mulled wine’. Serve the hot brew in a mug with raisins and chopped almonds for an authentic experience. How to host a Nordic style glögg party? Find out here!

Celebrate the light on the darkest night of the year
All the Scandinavian children will be baking lusekatter (saffron sweet bun) to serve their parents when they attend the St Lucia concert in the evening on the 13th of December. The celebration is a light ceremony on one of the longest darkest nights of the year. Many churches will be having concerts, with a beautiful light procession and evensong. We have more about St Lucia and the recipe for the buns here.

Have Christmas porridge
The tradition is to have rice pudding, or like the Scandinavians like to call it ‘Christmas porridge’ on the 23rd of December. It will be served with cinnamon, sugar and butter. And within the porridge, an almond is hidden. And the lucky person who gets the almond is the winner of a marzipan pig! Then custom say you will have to carry a plate of Christmas porridge and leave out for Santa too. The porridge is usually gone by the next day…

Decorate the Christmas tree
In Scandinavia it’s strictly advent, all the way up until Christmas. The tradition is to hold on and wait. Therefor Scandinavians will decorate their Christmas tree in the late evening on the 23rd, after the children has gone to bed. She children will then wake up to the magical sight of a fully decorated tree in the morning of the 24th. – You know we celebrate Christmas on the 24th?

Light a candle for your loved ones
Christmas is a time to remember and Scandinavians will decorate for Christmas and light a candle by the grave for deceased relatives and friends. If you visit a Scandinavian cemetery on Christmas Eve you’ll see many beautiful Christmas wreaths and lanterns illuminated in the snow.

Will you try any of these ideas or do you want to add one? Please do so by leaving a comment below. Happy Sunday! x

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